this is the 100th in my series of seldom read or forgotten books
A Gladiator Dies Only Once The Further Investigations of Gordianus the Finder by Steven Saylor © 2005, St. Martin Minotaur 2005 trade paperback, featuring Gordianus the Finder – historical mystery short story collection
This collection contains 9 stories, “The Consul’s Wife”, “If A Cyclops Could Vanish In The Blink of An Eye”, “The White Fawn”, “Something Fishy in Pompeii “, “Archimedes’ Tomb”, “Death By Eros”, “A Gladiator Dies Only Once”, “Poppy and the Poisoned Cake”, The Cherries of Lucullus” plus a partial chronology of the life and times of Gordianus the Finder, very helpful in placing the stories within the author’s Roma sub Rosa series.
This is the second collection of Gordianus short stories, the first being The House of the Vestals (1998). The stories in this collection have all been published previously.
I read Saylor’s Roman Blood years ago, after it was recommended to me by the still much missed Sue Feder. I loved it but soon found that these dense, witty, fascinating novels of Rome weren’t, for me, for reading one after the other. It was a couple of years before I read Arms od Nemesis the second book in the Roma sub Rosa series. I also loved that one. Before I got any further with the novels, I read a collection of historical short stories, perhaps it was Crime Through Time which contained a Gordianus story and began my search for more of them, resulting in finding and reading The House of the Vestals, which I really liked.
As is true with all short story collections, some stories are stronger than others here, but I enjoyed them all. It’s always a pleasure to spend some time with Gordianus!
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The rest of the Friday Forgotten Book posts
can be found at Patti Abbott’s blog Pattinaise
Note: Wow, 100 FFB posts. It’s kind of hard to believe! Of course many of the other folks who contribute to Friday Forgotten Books have done considerably more, but for me, 100 is a milestone.